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October 26, 2016
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Fabian Fischer's Blog


I'm a game designer and critical writer. My German blog (Fischers Ludokultur) serves as a platform for my thoughts on games and the underlying industry. Besides, I published articles on the German gaming website GamersGlobal as well as in the Making Games magazine. My intention is to help advance games beyond being regarded merely as a "fun diversion" or a provider of audiovisual and technological spectacle. Games as complex interactive systems are a unique art form and deserve to be analyzed accordingly.

"The ludological position is that games should be understood on their own terms. Ludologists have proposed that the study of games should concern the analysis of the abstract and formal systems they describe. In other words, the focus of game studies should be on the rules of a game, not on the representational elements which are only incidental." (Wikipedia: Game Studies)


Member Blogs

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Fri, 19 Aug 2016 05:27:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
The hype around No Man's Sky was not only fueled by shady marketing methods, but also by fundamentally flawed perspectives for evaluating games within the audience.

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Wed, 24 Feb 2016 06:45:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
Interactivity is what makes our medium unique. In some cases it is used to tell stories or create virtual art galleries. However, if gameplay itself is the core tool for delivering value, shouldn't it then always challenge the player?

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 01:18:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
While losing in games, and specifically an avatar dying, are most commonly associated with frustration, some games claim the opposite to be true in their case. What kind of games can rightfully make this claim?

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 01:17:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
Uncertainty is of central importance for any interesting game. Without it, interacting with a given system will only be of highly limited value. What tools can be employed to generate or preserve uncertainty? And which ones demand a close critical look?

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 01:06:00 EST in Design, Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet
Videogames come in different forms. Some are interactive movies or dynamic story generators, others are puzzles, dexterity challenges, or sandboxes. This article deals with strategy games as “contests of decision-making” and how to assess their desig

Posted by Fabian Fischer on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 01:38:00 EST in Design, Console/PC
“Progress” has almost become a buzzword in today’s gaming industry. And indeed the idea is of fundamental importance for the motivational power of gameplay. This article takes a critical look at the different forms of progress you may come across.

Fabian Fischer's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 07/13/2016 - 04:54]

It 's like they asked ...

It 's like they asked What if we made the whole world one giant Skinner Box . And boy did they succeed. I 'm afraid one of the biggest games ever will shed quite a bad light on what games can be. There 's barely any gameplay to be found.

Comment In: [Blog - 07/08/2016 - 10:07]

Since the mentioned hardcore MMO ...

Since the mentioned hardcore MMO RPGs all prey on the same Skinner Box mechanics and the spectacle value of growing numbers , it 's actually not surprising at all to find the same players as in idle clickers...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/28/2016 - 04:48]

Players don t care what ...

Players don t care what they do, they care why they do it. r n r nI think that 's a major problem caused by the low amount of the professional/academic work that went into the medium at this point. Too many people just don 't appreciate the what enough. ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/27/2016 - 11:36]

I think the card leveling ...

I think the card leveling is where the game damages its own competitive structure severely. If you 're playing well, you 're kind of punished for that. You level up your trophies too fast, so you either pay without a clear limit because as you said, it just goes on ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/10/2016 - 03:14]

Now that I can totally ...

Now that I can totally get behind. I 've basically stopped playing as well after 2-3 weeks, because I felt I had uncovered most of the game 's depth and the rest was just about leveling up over time which seemed true for other players as well, you always saw ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/24/2016 - 06:45]

Of course the game 's ...

Of course the game 's level of challenge has to depend on the player 's skill. It should pose a challenge that 's neither overwhelming nor trivial. The optimal challenge as flow theory calls it lies around the 50 winrate range. r n r nAlso, what do you mean extremely ...